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How could nursing homes best prevent cases of injury, neglect and abuse?

Asked at Checkers, 2300 La. on February 21, 2005

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Photo of Maureen Sharp

“Better staffing. Most of the time they have three people taking care of 140. They have a list of specific tasks to get done, so they don’t have time to take care of people’s needs.”

Photo of Linda Swanson

“I think if the staff was better paid and they hired more qualified employees, it would help take care of the problem.”

Photo of Jim Fuller

“Most nursing homes are understaffed, and there are too many people for each employee to take care of. I think it would be better to be overstaffed than understaffed, but I understand that they are running a business.”

Photo of James Hopper

“This is a lot to ask of caregivers, but I think personal involvement would help a lot. However, you can never really guarantee that people are going to give of themselves to their job.”

Comments

Richard Heckler 10 years, 3 months ago

From what I understand it costs a small fortune to live at one of these care homes. Then I would wonder considering the demand on staff why they would not be paid at least $12.00 per hour plus benefits. Caring for people who are forced into this situation cannot be fun.

mrcairo 10 years, 3 months ago

Greedy business owners would rather drive a brand new Cadillac SUV every year and live in a huge overstated house instead of paying their employees a decent wage.

You get what you pay for, pretty simple really. And what these business people don't understand is by hiring good people, and paying good money, your workload decreases, and you end up making more money.

Pay people well and they will VALUE their job and work hard to retain it.

Take Bill Gates... he's a bazillionaire because: He hired damn good people. He paid them damn good money.

lunacydetector 10 years, 3 months ago

my grandmother had a hip replaced and needed a nursing home to recoup. the problem was the nursing home didn't want her to recoup and confined her to bed. they would've made $75 more a day if my granny was bedridden. (this is the nicest nursing home in town -you'd think, by the way). granny got outta there fast.

another thing, why don't relatives ever visit the people in nursing homes? you'd think if the family visited them, the careworkers might take better care of their loved one. is it outta sight, outta mind? could it be our throw-away society?

i'd say the majority of people in nursing homes are neglected by their own families. why should nursing home staff give a rip if the resident's own family doesn't give a rip? the left overs don't have any family, so there needs to be some kind of policing of these facilities.

ms_canada 10 years, 3 months ago

Greetings - this is your foreign correspondent reporting in from the frozen north on this Family Day Holiday with an interesting story. As of 12:20pm this day 40 hardy men will have brought a 240 hour (10day) hockey game to a close. They have raised $120,000 for cancer research and had a heck of a lot of fun. Just one of the ways we northerners celebrate Family Day. As for the question posed this day in Lawrence re nursing homes. Lunacy, I believe you got it right. If family members paid more attention to the care granny is receiving, the service would improve. These facililties cost families a bundle of $$$ and they ought to be protecting their investment, but, alas, I have found that the prevailing feeling is 'out of sight, out of mind'. As part of my nurses training, I worked in the senior ward. These were permanent residents. The visits from family were few and far between. The private facilities are in the business of making money, plain and simple fact. Unless there is a watch dog on their tail, they will get away with what they can. but at the same time I must say that there are some very good homes. My mother was in 2 homes before she passed away and I would say they were very good and she was quite content to be there where she received excellent care. It is not an easy job taking care of cantankerous elderly people, but there are caring people out there who do the best they can on the low pay that they receive. I believe it is up to the families to play the watch dog. But, failing that, the gov. should inspect these facilities more often to see that they are up to code.

penguin 10 years, 3 months ago

well the main problem is usually staffing. They often have a RN/ADN and then a bunch of CNAs who are on the floor during any given shift. So as well the numbers are reduced and the owners of these "homes" do what they can to make sure they just meet state guidelines in terms of nursing staff.

Also for every case of abuse/neglect that I have ever heard of there are 4 more going the other way. What I mean by that is the patients abusing the staff. I can recall countless nights of my mom coming home when she worked at any number of rest homes with bruises from being hit with canes, kicked, and you name it. So when I hear grandma might have been bed ridden I am not too sympathetic.

however whether it is dymensia or not, I do tend to believe that families not visiting tends to make these people even more angry. This is another situation where sonny-boy or some other relative has dumped mommy in the nursing home for the remainder of her years. They visit every couple of weeks and that slides to holidays and then that slides to every other holiday and so on. However each time they are in all they do is tell the staff what they are doing wrong. They claim they know whats best for mother and a trained RN/LPN/CNA could not have any idea. I can't blame them in some respects, but at the same time so demand more and better trained staffing from the actual people who hire, not from the staff itself.

Trust me if you know someone who works in a nursing home you will find that: the pay stinks, the benefits are almost non-existant, if you are an RN they want to call you an LPN so they can pay you less, the patients are not always friendly and there are a few that are abusive daily, management only wants to turn a profit often at the expense of patient care, and relatives of the patients are often the biggest thorn in their side if and when they ever do visit.

And just imagine it gets much worse in Rural communities

lunacydetector 10 years, 3 months ago

well penguin, my granny was a sweet old lady and i NEVER saw her abusive to anyone - when she was young and when she got older.

she was confined to be bedridden because the resthome wanted to make more money. her wing was being run by staff hired after they lost their jobs at another resthome when it was shut down on the spot by the state for letting the residents wallow in their own feces and urine.

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